The history of the airship is examined from a technical and operational/mission point of view. The impact on a modern airship design by present technology is defined in some selected, representative areas through a comparison between 1930 and 1975 state-of-the-art. A survey of missions with a potential for the airship was made and some viable applications are established. Several concepts of modern airships were taken through a parametric design analysis in the missions previously established, evolving in a new configuration of a hybrid airship - the Helipsoid -, combining static lift and dynamic lift from tilting propeller/rotors and the planform. Cruise speeds in the 150-200 kt (77-103 m/s) will be possible with this configuration with reasonable engine power. The Helipsoid offers at the same time a realistic and practicable solution to the ballast problem, which is inherent in a vehicle generating its lift (fully or partially) from a medium lighter than air.